A Quick Explanation of the West Nile Virus and How to Protect Yourself

The West Nile virus is a growing problem in North America, and it is prevalent in the United States. A lot of research has been done on this virus, and one piece of information that you need to be aware of is that it is spread by mosquitoes. There are no symptoms of this virus, but according to the Center for Disease Control, one in five people will develop a fever, and in addition, one in a hundred will have serious complications that can result in death.
Where the virus is found
Not every place in the nation has been affected yet, mostly it is in the western half of the United States, however, it has been found in Mississippi and in the northeast state of Delaware. As scary as this virus may sound, there are steps you can take to lessen the chances of infection, and reduce your chances of being bitten by mosquitoes in general.

Eliminate the mosquitoes breeding ground
Mosquitoes use still water to lay eggs, so your first line of defense against the West Nile virus is to remove any still water on your property. Often, this water can be found in open containers after a rain, or in water gutters that have become clogged with leaves. There are many possibilities. You simply need to take a look around your property to find any still water and dispose of it.

Have your yard sprayed for mosquitoes
A professional pest control company with experience eliminating mosquitoes will be able to visit your home and spray your outdoor areas in the places that this insect is likely to congregate. Part of the strategy of spraying is aimed at killing these flying insects, but it also is a deterrent. After your yard, bushes and trees have an insecticide applied, mosquitoes that arrive later will be repelled by it and move on to a more friendly environment.

When it comes to calling a pest control company, it is important that you shop around and look for a company with experience with mosquitoes. These insects cannot be controlled the way other pests are, they are unique in the insect world. You can recognize a pest control company with specialized knowledge in mosquitoes by their products and services. One product that you will see offered is an automated mist system that periodically releases a mosquito repellent to offer home owners maximum protection. An example of a company like this is Mosquito Squad. More information can be found at their website at mosquitosquad.com.

How to Find the Best Roofing Company

11949855611947336549home14.svg.medRepairing or replacing a roof can be a very large and complicated job. There are usually many people involved. Obviously, if you have decided that your roof needs to be repaired or replaced, this is not a job that you can simply do yourself, or have some of your friends help you with it. This is a construction job that must be handled by a trained professional. Otherwise, you could end up with water leaking in the next time it rains. You might even have your roof collapse. However, all roofing contractors are not the same. Some are reputable, while others are not. How can you separate the good ones from the bad? Here is how to find the best roofing company.

1. Ask some of the people in your life

The chances are pretty good that several of your friends or family members have needed to get their roof replaced or repaired in the past. If this is the case, find out what company they went with. Perhaps they used a trusted roofing company like Cox Roofing. They are backed by 10 years of licensed and insured roofers who will repair, replace, or install your new roof with the precision and quality you deserve. You should also ask the people if they have had any problems with their new roof since it was repaired or installed. How long is the roof guaranteed for? This is a very important factor that you must not overlook when you are considering potential contractors.

2. Surf the Internet

If you can’t come up with as many roofing contractor recommendations from your friends and family as you would like, all is not lost. The Internet is always there for you to use as a valuable research tool. All you need to do is perform a search for all of the roofing contractors that operate within your general area. Read their websites very carefully to find out how long they have been in business. Experience is very important when hiring a company to work on your roof. You do not want this work performed by somebody who only started working on roofs six months ago.

3. Go to home improvement stores

Another option would be to visit all of the various home improvement stores located in your area. The people who work there will know a lot about the construction industry. Perhaps they can point you in the right direction.

5 Ways to Reduce the Risk of a Break-In While On Vacation

illustration of a Sign of a burglar or thief running with loot inside a crossed circle

One of the worst things you can experience during a nice vacation is getting a phone call that your home has been burglarized. Your stress level could spike and you’ll constantly worry until you walk into the house. Even then, the sight before you could make you feel vulnerable and nauseated. However, there are things you can do that can reduce the chances of becoming the next target of the criminal element.

Automatic Light Timers

An effective way of deterring criminals is by making the house look occupied while you’re away. Automatic timers are relatively cheap and plug directly into the wall socket. Lights and other appliances can be turned on at specific times during the day and night giving the impression that someone is home.

Friendly Checkups

If you’re planning to be away for a great deal of time, perhaps you could have a friend or family member stop by and pick up the mail or newspapers. Unattended mail and paper pileups may signify to others that no one is home to pick up these items.

Baton Down the Hatches

Before leaving, double check all locks and windows in each room. Even small areas that look too large for an adult to squeeze through could pose a threat to your security. Never underestimate the tenacity of criminals looking to sell your things.

House Sitter

Many people will hire others to essentially “babysit” the house while they’re away. This will require a great deal of trust as well as expense as someone lives in your home until you return from vacation. Depending on the situation, it may be more cost effective and safer to use a security monitoring service instead.

Display a Security Monitoring Service

One of the best ways to keep your home and possessions safe is by having an alarm and security system monitoring service. Displaying the company logo on the windows or plaques in the yard can deter criminals from attempting to break in. Should they still attempt to do so, the monitoring service can greatly increase your chances of recovering your possessions while capturing the intruder.

The common theme among all of these is to make your home look more difficult to successfully invade. For the most part, criminals would prefer an easy target. By promoting security methods on the property, you can reduce the risks of someone walking away with your property.

The Importance of Proper Pump Maintenance

Like many important parts of industry that are out of sight, it is easy to also let them be out of mind. In other words, when a piece of machinery is reliable and doing its job month after month, it is easy to forget about the importance of regularly checking that equipment and machine. It is a simple fact of life that all machines, even high-quality pumps from vendors such as National Pump Company, require regular checks and preventative maintenance.

In fact, many sophisticated industrial installations and applications are constructed with certain foundational assumptions about pump capacity and functioning. Without proper monitoring and maintenance many pumps will continue to operate, but at reduced capacities and pumping rates. Whether a pump breaks down at the worst possible time or simply continues to operate at an inefficient level, the costs can be significant.

On the other hand, selecting the right pumps and setting up the right PM program will help avoid those costs and avoid most unexpected downtime situations. Even if a pump must be taken off line for maintenance, that event can be scheduled to coincide with other operational maintenance and minimize the impact and inconvenience.

Another important reason for regular monitoring of pumps is the nature of their operation. Pumps and their capacities are calculated on a theoretical installation. Each actual field installation is different and encounters different environmental factors. Therefore, the actual performance of any individual pump or total pumping system can only be determined after installation and after a period of operation under different loads.

Evaluating the performance of pumps against specs and requirements allows the operator to make the fine adjustments necessary to keep pumps at or near the target efficiency point. Achieving this objective brings a number of savings, including:

• Lowered operating costs
• Longer life cycles
• Fewer unplanned breakdowns

Just as it is important to keep any automobile tuned to achieve the best gas mileage and longest time of use, any pump installation needs its own monitoring and tuning. Checking pumps and their systems for such things as pressure, flow, temperature and vibration variances is increasingly affordable with modern monitoring devices. This simple discipline will show a high ROI for any pumping installation.

Three Home Improvement Solutions You Should Implement Today

When you’re ready to improve the visual appeal and/or functionality of your residential living space, it’s important to note that there are numerous home optimization techniques you can deploy to make it happen. Here are three:

1. Invest In Great HVAC Services.

If you’re serious about home optimization, it’s important to note that attaining professional HVAC maintenance services should be a piece of the puzzle. If you allow your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment to fall into disarray, the appearance and functionality of your home will decrease dramatically. To keep your air clean and comfortable, be sure that you access and utilize the services of a professional HVAC company that is known for operating in excellence. One company to consider is Eastern Tech Heating and Air. The company offers customer-centered services, and you can learn more today by visiting the company website at http://easterntechairva.com/.

2. Make Environment-Friendly Decisions.

In addition to seeking out excellent HVAC services, it’s important that you make environment-friendly decisions as you focus on home optimization. This process can save money and also increase the health of your home. There are several ways you can get started with going green in your private living space, and one of the simplest methods is to switch from traditional lighting to LED bulbs.

3. Hire A Professional Interior Decorator.

These days, “Do-It-Yourself” has become a big buzz word in the home improvement world. Yet as many home maintenance professionals have pointed out, DIY projects are oftentimes a bad idea. This is the case for numerous reasons, including the fact that individuals who lack experience in this sector make themselves more susceptible to accidents when they attempt to complete the projects. With this reality in mind, it’s a good idea to locate and utilize the services of a professional interior decorator. The internet makes it easy to find an interior decorator, and you can also ask friends and family members or check the contractor’s BBB rating to ensure that you get absolutely amazing services.


If you’re ready to get your home in excellent, efficient condition, know that the home optimization strategies listed above can help. Utilizing one or all of these home maintenance techniques will likely turn your house into the haven it should be!